Higher education in Europe is not accredited in the same way as at e.g. American universities.
The N5T consortium represents four Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and each university follows the national accreditation rules of the home country.
In Finland, Norway, and Sweden, programmes are accredited through institutional accreditation, which means that the university has the competence to start new programmes according to:
- the national legal framework pertaining to the type of programme offered (MA, MSc, Bsc, MSc Eng. etc.)
- the university’s internal regulations and procedures.
In Denmark, the situation is slightly different as Denmark has programme accreditation. Programmes offered by DTU are thus accredited through ACE Denmark: http://acedenmark.eu/. Existing study programmes are assessed on the basis of ten predefined criteria, whereas new programmes are assessed on the basis of nine predefined criteria. Both sets of criteria are based on four pillars:
- labour market’s demand for the study programme.
- research quality and importance of the underlying research environment.
- study programme’s depth (structure and organisation of the study programme).
- results of the study programme.
The NMP SUT programme has been established on the basis of the following laws and related ministerial orders:
Aalto: Joint international master programmes can be established either as part of the university’s normal educational degree offerings or as separate master programmes in accordance with the Government Decree (Opetusministeriön asetus yliopistojen maisteriohjelmista, 1665/2009, and Decree of the Council of State on University Degrees (1136/2009).
Chalmers: Being a private foundation, Chalmers has the liberty to create new academic programmes, although they shall comply with general rules stated by the Government in the contract that is signed every year between the two parties (Avtal mellan svenska staten och Chalmers tekniska högskola aktiebolag om utbildnings- och forskningsuppdrag för 2010 and Higher Education Ordinance (SFS), 1993: 792 in § 2).
DTU: Joint international master programmes that are not Erasmus Mundus programmes must be established within the framework of the executive order on “parallelforløb og fællesuddannelser” (BEK nr. 931 af 05/10/2005 and Act on Universities, Act.403 of 28 May 2003).
KTH: In accordance with the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (Svenska Högskoleförordningen – 1993:100, chapter 6, paragraph 11a and 11b (alt by ordinance 2009:1068 and 2000:1057).
NTNU: As an accredited higher institution in Norway NTNU has the rights and liberty to develop new academic programmes without further applications on a national level. NTNU must however follow the act relating to universities and university colleges given by the Ministry of Education and Research (Act relating to University and University Colleges 2005).